South Africa: SA Records 1 923 New Covid-19 Cases As Country Eases Restrictions

17 September 2020

Sixty-four more people died of COVID-19 in South Africa on Wednesday.

Of the latest fatalities, 24 are from KwaZulu-Natal, 14 from Gauteng, 11 from Mpumalanga, nine from the Western Cape and six from the Northern Cape, pushing the death toll to 15 705.

Meanwhile, there are now 653 444 confirmed COVID-19 cases after 1 923 new cases were recorded, Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, said.

In addition, the country has a recovery rate of 89.4% after 584 195 patients beat the disease.

Gauteng remains the hardest hit province with 215 898 cases, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 116 910, the Western Cape 108 767 and the Eastern Cape 87 663.

The information is based on the 3 961 179 tests conducted of which 20 962 were performed in the last 24 hours.

Addressing the nation on Wednesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa applauded South Africans for their resilient fight against COVID-19.

President Ramaphosa confirmed that the number of new Coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalisations are dropping. This as he announced that the country was moving to level 1 of the lockdown at midnight on Sunday.

"Two months ago, at the height of the storm, we were recording around 12 000 new cases a day. Now we are on average recording less than 2 000 cases a day," he told the nation.

In addition, the demand for hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen and other essential medical requirements has also reduced steadily, he added.

"We have succeeded in overcoming the worst phase of this epidemic while protecting the capacity of our health system. I wish to applaud you, the people of South Africa, for this achievement and for the thousands of lives that have been saved through your collective actions," the President said.

President Ramaphosa also warned against a second wave of infections while urging citizens to continue to wash or sanitise their hands and to keep practising social distancing. He urged South Africans to continue wearing their masks.

Globally, there are now 29 444 198 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 931 321 deaths reported to the World Health Organization.

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